We could get rides to the top of the mountain passes. It’d be easy enough to flag down a pick-up and pay the driver a few soles to let us throw our gear in the back.
But I’m not sure the view at the top would be as rewarding if we didn’t endure the hardship of the climb to get there. Part of the joy of getting to the top is the pride in knowing I did it. I rode up this mountain on a bicycle. Sometimes it takes hours, thousands of pedal strokes and a streaming inner dialogue of self-encouragements…You can do it, just keeping spinning.
It’s also the relief in knowing that for at least a moment, the struggle is over. The view at the top of the mountain is not only a beautiful landscape, it’s an emotional experience, made richer by the struggle experienced to get there. Looking out over a vista, I temporarily forget what I endured to get there. And it’s worth it, every time.
Vale la pena.
We began the day riding through a high plateau dotted with lagunas.
Then we descended through forests of trees to Cajamarca.
Mining operations unfortunately mar the landscape. Twenty percent of Peru’s exports are gold.